In 170 BCE, the Greeks, led by Antiochus IV Epiphanes, captured the Temple. There was a division between the adherents of Greek philosophy and religion and those who remained loyal to the concept of a single Creator.
Some priests, including the high priest (Cohen Rishon), supported the Greeks. The Jerusalem Temple was desecrated and turned into a sanctuary of Zeus. Severe persecution and forced Hellenization of the population led to the Maccabean revolt, led by Matityahu Hashmonay who issued the call, “He who is for God, follow me!”
The uprising ended with the victory of the Maccabees. Having entered the Temple, they found that the pure oil to light the Menorah candles would last for only one day. But a miracle occurred. The candles burned for eight days and so is called the miracle of Hanukkah.
Question: What does Hanukkah represent from the spiritual point of view?
Answer: The history leading to this holiday begins with Abraham as the founder of the Jewish people. Long before the Maccabees, It was he who first issued the call, “Whoever is moving towards the Creator – follow me!” Under this motto, he gathered a large group of Babylonians, to whom he taught his approach to the universe, the purpose of life and creation, the higher human destiny, etc.
But most importantly, under the slogan of “unity in the name of unity,” Abraham began to unite those who sided with him because it is in the pursuit of unity that we reveal the upper force of nature, the Creator, which unites us. It forms us into one whole and we become invincible to either external or internal egoism. What Abraham began, the Maccabees, united with each other, continued.
In principle, it is the same action of a rebellion against egoism, only at different levels, and that is why it occurred at different points in history.
Having united people, the Maccabees came to the same state as Abraham and won. To the extent of unity with greater groups of people who joined them, they revealed a greater spiritual force, which was the force of unity, the upper force of bestowal and love. Therefore, they were invincible to egoism, which was personified by the Greeks in this case, in Babylon by the Babylonians, in Egypt by Pharaoh, and later, by the Romans.
Through unity with large groups of people joining them, they recognized more and more spiritual power: the power of unity and the supreme power of love and bestowal. Therefore, they were invincible against the selfishness personified in this case by the Greeks, the Babylonians, Pharaoh and the Egyptians, and later, the Romans.
In general, it is the only fight, a war throughout all generations. And even when we do not have an apparent enemy, our inner enemy always rebels within us, again and again pulling us towards worshiping various idols in our life. We must fight it.
It is easy to draw a parallel between these two wars and today since modern idols are fully exposed as complete nonentities, leading us to some end and we have nothing else to do with them. On the one hand, we are still drawn to them, and on the other hand, we understand that this is temporary, harmful and brings no good results.
Therefore, our behavior is reminiscent of a man who gets drunk, does not know or hear anything, forgets himself,and is disconnected from what is happening. We become immersed in business or other things just to stay occupied, thus imitating a movie hero, a literary character, or just acquaintances who have supposedly succeeded in life. This is the idol that is so attractive to us.
Question: Do you think that these desires have exhausted themselves?
Answer: No, but I know that all this is temporary and limited. Life itself shows us that. The world is like a theater and we always play a role in it.
There are people who seek nothing. The main thing for them is to live quietly and peacefully, so no one bothers them. But, there are few of them. The majority are pulled by competition, the struggle for a place under the sun, and we begin to pretend that we are business people, running with a briefcase and changing from one plane to another, and in this way, we run to the grave.
Question: Can the miracle of Hanukkah take place nowadays?
Answer: In life there is always a place for a miracle. Every time we connect with each other, the force, which is higher than all the other forces, obstacles, conditions, is manifested, and then there is a miracle before us. We can evoke it, even today.
A miracle is a supernatural phenomenon, but we are able to cause it ourselves, when we wish. Today, if we want to rise above egoism in our unity, then a completely new upper force will be manifested within us, and with its help, we will be able to calm the whole world, arrange everything, and everyone will be fine and easygoing.
Question: What kind of a miracle happened when the candles of the Maccabees were lit?
Answer: Through their unity, the Maccabees attracted the Light that gave them the opportunity to stay in the state of bestowal, love and connection until they began to pull new masses of people towards themselves.
The desires of people who connect with each other in one whole symbolizes the oil, and their gathering in spite of their egoism symbolizes the wick. They burn in their desire to get closer, and when they unite somehow, a light appears within them that support the fire of their desires.
If they begin to be engaged in even greater dissemination and draw towards themselves greater masses of people, then the lamp will burn continuously.
The manifestation of the Light, the upper force, the Creator in the people’s unity is the miracle. Besides that, there are no other miracles because the essence of all miracles is that our unity brings about the manifestation of the inner force, called the property of love, the Creator. It works wonders. The crossing of the Red Sea, the miracle of Hanukkah and the miracle of Purim are always the revelation of the Creator in our unity. Therefore, there is just one technique and it contains nothing complicated. It came to us from Abraham, who first showed how it is realized.
The fact is that we can unite in any manner, but the essence of the miracle is that we unite so that a new upper property appears within us, which is not manifested in any other actions, that raises us to the next level of consciousness, sensation, vision, and existence.
Question: How could people believe that one candle would burn for eight days when they knew that it would be sufficient only for a day?
Answer: If we aspire to unity, we are not interested in anything except to come to this state, within which the Creator is revealed. Then we reach the conditions of infinity and go to the next level of existence, where there is neither time nor space. And eight days is just an allegory, since there are eight Sefirot from the level of Bina to the level of Malchut.
Question: How can a person not think about what will happen tomorrow?
Answer: If you work for bestowal, tomorrow does not exist for you! There is no next moment! The most important is to give.
Tomorrow will disappear from your field of vision, mind, and calculations! It does not exist! You are included in the action of bestowal and are seemingly extended to everyone else. Nothing will remain in you. Your “I” simply disappears.
Then, in the next step, a new egoistic state appears. The same thing is repeated, like the wheel that moves forward, but at the same time revolves around itself.
Question: Under what circumstances is this possible?
Answer: It comes gradually, after many years and only from Above. But it will come. I can promise to all of my students that it will come true, and they will reach this state.
I think that together with them, I will still be able to go through their first steps in this ascent. This is the desire of every spiritual teacher who cannot abandon his child halfway. The teacher wants to guide his students across the desert so that they reach full bestowal, and they would not have any possibility of turning back, since the property of bestowal would reign in all their desires.
Then, they will develop their spiritual path on their own, with the next leader, like Moses and Joshua. But it is desirable for us to cross the desert together.
Question: How do you view the miracles from the material point of view? Let’s say, for many years, archaeologists seek confirmation of the exodus of the Jews from Egypt, but find no traces. Indeed, something should have been left. In addition, there no evidence has been found of the 40 years of wandering of the nation of Israel in the desert.
Answer: Archaeologists find confirmation of these or other historical events when the time comes. Therefore in its time, they will suddenly find artifacts of history in the same place where they previously could find nothing. These discoveries are still ahead.
From KabTV’s “Secretes of the Eternal Book” 12/17/14